FC BARCELONA vs PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN: Preview, Team News and Prediction

Barcelona face the team from Paris at home looking to book a place in the semi-finals for the first time in 5 years.
Paris Saint-Germain v FC Barcelona: Quarter-final First Leg - UEFA Champions League 2023/24
Paris Saint-Germain v FC Barcelona: Quarter-final First Leg - UEFA Champions League 2023/24 / Christian Liewig - Corbis/GettyImages

Following a massive week backed by encouraging performances and positive results, Barcelona face their two toughest tests which could end up defining their campaign. Barcelona face two season defining games in the space of 5 days within the same week which could essentially restore lost glory or end up becoming the same old story of late. Brace up Culers for there is the small matter of facing PSG at home in the UEFA Champions League Quarter Finals 2nd leg followed by the Clásico at the Bernabeu!!

After blowing hot and cold for the vast majority of the campaign, Xavi's troops seem to be peaking at the right time in terms of quality and results. Unbeaten in their last 13 games across all competitions, Barcelona are determined to give it their everything to ensure Xavi ends his Barcelona chapter on a high. Barcelona played a highly captivating and topsy-turvy match in Paris, grabbing a lead in the first half, conceding two quickfire second half goals, only to mount a comeback and emerge 3-2 winners,

Xavi fielded a highly altered line up for the La Liga game against Cádiz, keeping in mind the short turn around between that match and the 2nd leg vs Paris. Barcelona eked out a 1-0 win to stay alive in the La Liga race and managed to rest most of their key players whilst giving fringe players a chance to impress. PSG, on the other hand, were handed a rest matchday and arrive into this fixture with 3 extra days of rest and preparation.

Parc des Princes and the PSG ultras were the most unwelcoming and hostile of hosts the Blaugranes could have asked for. The Catalans defied all odds and carried a slender but hugely important one goal advantage heading into the second leg at the Montjuïc, going a step further than just coming out unscathed, which would have been seen as a triumph. Barcelona were more than happy to absorb the pressure in the opening stages with some resolute defending and dominated proceedings in the center of the park after settling on the ball.

Xavi Hernandez was spot on with his game plan and substitutions who paid immediate dividends. Pedri assisted Raphinha for the equalizer with his first pass in two months while Christensen headed home the winner, seconds after coming on. The way Barcelona responded to going behind after conceding two second half goals within 5 minutes would be something which would make the manager proud. This team has time and again shown their never say never attitude and that attribute was on full display in Paris last week.

Luis Enrique's PSG were poor in defense and were out mastered by Barcelona's midfield trio, but they did create enough chances to keep their comeback hopes alive. Lucho's switch to play Dembélé and Mbappé on the same flank in the second half paid immediate dividends, with Dembele scoring (and celebrating) against his former club. Mbappé cut a forlorn figure in that tie, but Barcelona would be weary of his qualities and the danger he possesses for he was the one who scored a hattrick the last time PSG played a game in Barcelona.

PSG are on course for a treble and their first ever Champions League title. Barca, on the other hand, have been going through a financial slumber and European humiliation for quite a few years. With both teams going through a transition phase of sorts, onus will be on their managers and the likes of Mbappé and Lewandowski to give their sides a cutting edge and march their way into the continental semis.



Captain Sergi Roberto and the scorer of the winner; Andres Christensen collected a yellow card each and would have to serve their respective suspensions for this clash. The coach gave Lewandowski, Araújo, and Gündoğan much needed rests while limiting the roles of Pedri, Frenkie, Lamine, and Raphinha off the bench, keeping this tie in mind. They should all return to the starting XI unless Xavi decides to go for a tactical switch.

Félix was lively in the game against Cadiz and scored with a stunning overhead kick, which might make a case for him to be included over Lamine. Raphinha would keep his place after scoring his first brace for the club in a lively player of the match performance in Paris last week. Pedri played the last quarter of both games last week but Xavi might prefer to ease his star midfielder into the scheme of things, preferring to start Fermín López in a slightly advanced role, in-front of the midfield pairing of Gündoğan and de Jong.

Predicted XI (4-3-3);

Marc-André ter Stegen, Joules Koundé, Ronald Araújo, Pau Cubarsí, João Cancelo, Frenkie de Jong, İlkay Gündoğan, Fermín López, Lamine Yamal, Robert Lewandowski, Raphinha


PSG were oblivious in the first half of the first leg which made Head Coach Luis Enrique opt for a tactical switch. Head Coach Luis Enrique made a tactical switch in the second half, bringing on Barcola and Zaïre-Emery, who injected much needed impetus and a sense of urgency that was lacking in the Parisians until that point. The left flank was boosted by the addition of Dembélé who made frequent runs into the box, supported by Mbappé and LB Nuno Mendes.

Marco Asensio was a distant figure upfront and Enrique might prefer playing Gonçalo Ramos as a center forward with his side looking for goals after trailing in the tie. Beraldo was often left asking in defense and that might prompt Enrique to include Škriniar or bring on Danilo Pereira to offer cover and stability at the back. PSG would want their midfield trio of Vitinha, Ruiz and Emery to dominate their Catalan counterparts in order to get a grip on the game. Achraf Hakimi served a ban in the first game but should slot right in.

Predicted XI (4-3-3);

Gianluigi Donnarumma, Achraf Hakimi, Marquinhos, Lucas Hernández, Nuno Mendes, Warren Zaïre-Emery, Vitinha, Fabián Ruiz, Gonçalo Ramos, Ousmane Dembélé, Kylian Mbappé


Since winning the title in the treble winning 2014-15 campaign, the Blaugrana have only made it past the quarter final stage on one occasion. PSG are looking to end their obsession with the Champions League by winning the coveted title while Barcelona are trying to make their way back amongst the European elite. With a 1 goal advantage against their name and a raucous home crowd to fall back on, Xavi’s side would be rearing to step up the intensity from the first whistle to take Barcelona to their first UCL semi final appearance since 2018-19.